Oculomotor response to images in primary school children with mild intellectual disability

Nikishina VB1, Prirodova OF1, Petrash EA1, Sevrukova IA2
About authors

1 Pirogov Russian National Research Medical University, Moscow, Russia

2 Kursk State Medical University, Kursk, Russia

Correspondence should be addressed: Ekaterina A. Petrash
Ostrovityanova, 1, Moscow, 117997; ur.liam@hsartep

About paper

Author contribution: Nikishina VB and Prirodova OF proposed the concept, interpreted and summarized the obtained data; Petrash EA performed qualitative and quantitative analysis of the obtained data; interpreted and summarized the results; Sevrukova IA conducted the study and performed data acquisition

Compliance with ethical standards: the study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Kursk Medical State University (Protocol № 9 dated December 10, 2019). Written informed consent was obtained from the children’s parents or legal representatives.

Received: 2021-01-21 Accepted: 2021-02-15 Published online: 2021-02-26

Oculomotor activity (eye movements) is an essential component of visual data acquisition, analysis and use. The aim of this study was to determine the characteristics of oculomotor response to static images in primary school children with mild intellectual disability (ID). Our sample included a total of 49 schoolers (23 children with mild ID and 26 typically developing children). Oculomotor activity was evaluated using a GP3 Gazepoint eye tracker. The participants were presented with 15 visual stimuli: 10 pictorial and 5 mixed (pictures + text) static color images. Children with mild ID generated significantly fewer fixations (р = 0.038) than typically developing children. So, learning materials containing both pictorial and textual images are ineffective because textual elements are completely ignored by children with mild ID. The total duration of gaze fixations was significantly longer (р = 0.029) in typically developing children than in children with mild ID. However, the average duration of a single gaze fixation was longer in children with mild ID. The identified features of oculomotor response can help to optimize the format of instructional materials for primary school children with mild ID.

Keywords: intellectual disability, oculomotor response, gaze fixation, latency, fixation duration